Melancholy mood forever haunts me…

12/05/2016

For all my friends, in memory of detective Philip Marlowe…

Melancholy mood forever haunts me
Steals upon me in the night
Forever taunts me
Oh, what a lonely soul am I
Stranded high and dry
By a melancholy mood

Gone is every joy and inspiration
Tears are all I have to show
No consolation
All I can see is grief and gloom
Till the crack of doom
Oh, melancholy mood

Deep in the night
I search for a trace
Of a lingering kiss, a warm embrace
But love is a whimsy
And as flimsy as lace
And my arms embrace an empty space

Melancholy mood, why must you blind me
Pity me and break the chains
The chains that bind me
Won’t you release me, set me free
Bring him back to me
Oh, melancholy mood

Deep in the night
I search for a trace
Of a lingering kiss, a warm embrace
But love is a whimsy
As flimsy as lace
And my arms embrace an empty space

Melancholy mood, why must you blind me
Pity me and break the chains
The chains that bind me
Won’t you release me, set me free
Bring him back to me
Oh, melancholy mood

And set me free
Oh, melancholy mood

By a melancholy mood (Frank Sinatra)

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“Melancholy Mood” from Bob Dylan’s upcoming album ‘Fallen Angels’ out May 20. Pre-order now! Amazon: http://smarturl.it/FallenAngelsAmz Apple Music: http://s…
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Un pays égaré…

07/05/2016

O țară in care domnesc mediocritatea insolentă, trăncăneala incontinentă, xenofobia imbecilă, cinismul impertinent, amatorismul pseudo-academic, nombrilismul agresiv, lașitatea morală, furtul intelectual, cinismul nerușinat și amnezia istorică, este o țară rătăcită. Păcat de cei onești si valoroși (nu sunt puțini!) care suferă consecințele sinistre ale acestei tragice stări de fapt. Din aceste motive am plecat din România in 1981. Nu regret că am făcut-o. Si ii voi sustine contre vents et marées pe ce care se confruntă cu ceea ce-am trăit si eu. Cam cu un an inaintea plecarii, directorul mini-laboratorului de sociologie unde lucram, mi-a spus, legat de un concurs de promovare la care aveam sanse absolute, doctor fiind, in raport cu personaj care nici măcar nu se inscrisese la doctorat: “Dacă ar fi pe valoare, ar fi locul tau, dar nu este!” Peste nu mult timp, eu imi porneam itinerariul intelectual occidental, iar personajul era angajat, i. e., recrutat ca “asistent universitar” la scoala Securitatii. A bon entendeur, salut!


O veste minunata pentru prietenii societatii deschise

05/05/2016

Great news for the friends of the open society! Congrats to Michael Ignatieff, influential human rights scholar and admirable public intellectual: “Farewell to @Harvard @Kennedy_School. From September 1, I will be President & Rector of Central European University in Budapest @CEUHungary.” One of my first book reviews in English came out in the 1980s in the journal “Orbis” and praised Michael Ignatieff’s wonderful “Russian Album.” In the 1990s, I used in my classes his film and book “Blood and Belonging,” one of the finest analyses of the Yugoslav debacle.

 

 

I read with an immense interest his biography of Isaiah Berlin,. In the pages of the NYRB, Michael has published seminal essays, including the insightfully prescient ones, last year, on the new authoritarian wave. I met him in Amsterdam a few years ago when we were on the same panel on nationalism as at a conference organized by Rob Riemen, the indefatigable director of the Nexus Institute. We talked about civil society’s metamorphoses in post-communist Europe (he had published an utterly thoughtful review of Ernest Gellner’s “Conditions of Liberty”). For those who have not visted CEU, let ma say that there is, in addition to a “Popper Room,” a “Gellner Room,” as well.

As one who has published several volumes with CEU Press, who has frequently lectured there, participated in doctoral committees, and co-organized a major conference in 1999 to explore the revolutions of 1989 and their aftermath, I am particularly pleased and happy for Michael Ignatieff and for entire CEU community, professors, library staff, students and alumni!